At Dental Commons Dental Care, we always promote the benefits of a good oral hygiene routine that involves brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, and visiting your dentist regularly. Our team at our practice in Dallas, Texas is always on hand to discuss your oral health and dental needs.
Good dental hygiene is not just good for your smile, it’s good for your overall health too as gum disease is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Why it’s important to floss?
While most people do manage to brush their teeth regularly, many people forget about flossing. Flossing is vital for removing the build-up of food and plaque between teeth that can lead to bad breath, decay, inflammation and gum disease.
There are a number of reasons that people don’t floss. They forget or perhaps find it uncomfortable. If you have fairly large spaces between your teeth, then dental floss might not work as well for you. Luckily, there are some floss alternatives that you can try to add to your daily routine.
Interdental brushes: These are tiny brushes (not unlike pipe cleaners) that fit in the spaces between your teeth. The brushing action can remove far more plaque than traditional dental floss if your have enough of a space between your teeth. Interdental brushes are also a better option for those people with fixed retainers.
Water flosser: These have received approval from the American Dental Association as effective for cleaning between the teeth. A water flosser is a handheld device that shoots a jet of water that your aim between your teeth to clear away any plaque. It can take a few attempts to get the technique right, but once you do, it is very effective.
Air flosser: Similar to a water flosser, but uses a jet of air instead of water. Limited studies suggest that they are not a good as other methods (such as the water flosser) for removing debris from between the teeth.
Dental picks: These are available in wood or plastic and you use them to pick the debris from between your teeth individually. If you are using a wooden pick, it’s recommended that you wet the ed first to soften it. While they might be useful for dislodging a troublesome piece of food from between your teeth, they aren’t as good as dental floss for overall oral health, there’s also a chance that you can cause bleeding and inflammation in your gums as the ends of the dental picks are points.
Flossing sticks: Some people don’t like using traditional floss because they find it difficult to maneuver around their teeth. Flossing sticks are small plastic or wooden sticks with a precut piece of dental floss stretched across the top, just long enough for you to get it between your teeth and perform the forward and backward movement to clean our debris and plaque.
Soft-picks: A soft pick is a cross between an interdental brush and a dental pick. They are disposable picks with ridges of rubber bristles that act like a brush. They claim to do less damage to the gum tissue than traditional picks.
Mouthwash: It’s a common misconception that a strong, antibacterial mouthwash is a floss alternative. This isn’t the case. While a good mouthwash can help keep breath fresh and remove some debris from your mouth, it won’t clean between our teeth.
If you’d like to speak to one of our team about improving your dental routine or floss alternatives, then contact our Dallas, Texas practice and we’ll be able to discuss the best options for you to achieve and maintain a healthy mouth.